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Dallas, Texas
Meteor Garden taiwanese drama review
Meteor Garden
2 people found this review helpful
by Macy
Jan 5, 2018
27 of 27 episodes seen
Overall 8.0
Story 8.5
Acting/Cast 7.0
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 8.5
A lot of reviews compare "Meteor Garden" to the other "Hana Yori Dango" adaptations, which I don't think is really fair... Not only was MG the first drama version, it was made on a pretty low budget. Producer Angie Chai bought most of the F4's clothes from local thrift shops and had a hard time getting funding for some of the scenes. Nevertheless, Chai had a vision and it paid off. "Meteor Garden" is considered the first of the popular "idol drama" trend and launched her career as a prolific producer. The drama made household names out of Barbie Hsu, Jerry Yan, Vic Chou, Ken Chu, and Vanness Wu. All went on to have good careers, though to varying degrees of success. It also introduced the sweet and popular Rainie Yang.

As an adaptation of "Hana Yori Dango" (or "Boys Over Flowers"), MG is probably the most faithful to the manga. MG combined a few characters (notably Makiko and Sakurako [Li Zhen] and Seinosuke and Junpei [Xiao Shun]), but I was pleasantly surprised to see Matsutaro (Ah Song, played by Wallace Chung) and Amon (Ya Men, played by Blue Lan). Neither of the latter characters have been featured in any other drama, not even the Japanese version. Additionally, MG follows the manga almost scene by scene, only skipping over about one arc. It's unfortunate that the manga was not finished yet, so the writers had to make up an ending. I was not really a fan of the last episode, besides the very last scene.

For fans of the manga, I would say this is a must-watch, despite the low production values. Barbie Hsu's (Shan Cai) and Jerry Yan's (Dao Ming Si) chemistry was also on point. It's no wonder this version was so popular at the time that it aired. A popularity that endures to this day. I'm very excited for the upcoming remake since Chai has promised to make another faithful (but updated and flashy) rendition.
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